IOWD FA SENIOR(GOLD) CUP Semi Final 29/04/14

played at St Georges Park, home of Newport IW FC

COWES SPORTS     4 1     WEST WIGHT

The 1st Senior(Gold) Cup Semi Final took place at St Georges Park, Newport on Tuesday April 29th between Wessex Div 1 side Cowes Sports and the current Island(Saturday) League Champions who look likely to retain their title.

Sports once again decided to play a 3-4-3 formation whilst West Wight used 4-5-1. It meant that Max Draper again dropped to the bench where he was joined by Lee Davies, Jared Wetherick and Ross Gregory along with 16 year old goalkeeper Aaron Bunday. West Wight again named a strong side although Chris Griffiiths was missing whilst Ben Thurman was only on the bench.

It was the Wessex League side who started well and took the lead in the 8th minute, a precise through ball from just inside the West Wight half by Ollie Wilson saw JOHN McKIE run onto it before calmly tucking the ball past the advancing Dave Thurman into the unguarded net. West Wight were certainly not going to lie down and several strong tackles were made by the Island League side. When they tried to play the ball around the lower league team were able to cause a few problems for the Cowes back line and deservedly leveled the scores in the 23rd minute when right back Kez Sampson broke down the Cowes left before sending in a inch perfect cross to the far post where ZAK HARRIS met it with a powerful header past Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal.  Stunned by conceding the Yachtsmen hit back to regain the lead on 32 minutes. Nathan Lewis’ s ball down the right found JORDAN BROWNE who cut inside, beat his marker before firing the ball past Dave Thurman into the goal. Further strong tackles eventually led to Adam Millar getting a yellow card from the usually strict Abu Gates. West Wight threatened a second equaliser but a great saving tackle in the penalty area ensured Cowes held the lead at half time.

H-t 2 1

A change of formation at half time for Cowes Sports saw Max Draper replace Ollie Wilson, thus reverting to a more conventional 4 – 3 – 3 and as a result it was the Yachtsmen who dominated the majority of the second half, Jordan Browne sent a teasing ball across the face of the West Wight goal, but no Cowes player was forward enough to get a touch. Aidan Bryan then surged forward before setting up Jordan Browne, but his effort was well saved by West Wight’s veteran keeper. Another Jordan Browne shot flew wide of Dave Thurman’s goal before the pressure finally told. In the 67th minute former skipper Gareth Bricknell threaded his way through their defence before teeing up NATHAN LEWIS who blasted home Cowes’ third goal from 20 yards. Gareth Bricknell was replaced by Jared Wetherick and it was the substitute who got involved straight away by setting up Jordan Browne who again was thwarted by Dave Thurman at the expense of a corner from which Ryan Gregory crossed, the ball was headed back into the danger area before Jordan Browne flicked it over the bar when he maybe should have scored. In the 74th minute a fourth goal was added by Cowes when John McKie’s cross into the six yard box was punched away by Dave Thurman, but only to JORDAN BROWNE just outside the box, he fired the ball back into the net for his second goal  of the game and secure the Yachtsmen’s place in the Final.  West Wight substitute Niall Harris fired a shot straight at Ed Hatt who saved comfortably in a rare attack, whilst a Ryan Gregory ball into the West Wight box was called for by Dave Thurman, but a defender hacked it away from his grasp for a corner. A late Ryan Gregory corner found the head of Joe Phelps but his header was cleared of the goal line.

So in the end a comfortable passage through to the Gold Cup Final for the Yachtsmen who will face the “Old Enemy”, Newport IW, who came through their Semi Final at Westwood Park on Saturday May 3rd, comfortably seeing off the challenge of Island Div 1 side Vectis Nomads 6 – 1. The FINAL will take place on FRIDAY MAY 9th at the home of East Cowes Vics with a 7-30pm kick off.

Team:- Ed Hatt, Joe Adams(Lee Davies 72), Aidan Bryan, Ryan Gregory, Craig Insley capt, Oliver Wilson(Max Draper 46), Joe Phelps, Nathan Lewis, John McKie, Jordan Browne, Gareth Bricknell(Jared Wetherick 67), Subs not used; Ross Gregory + Aaron Bunday

REFEREE:-  ABU GATES             Assistants –  Richard Wetherick + Alex Staniforth